License Keys are enough, screw your CD

Dear Game Publishers,

Do you ever listen to your developers? Ever?

I know that the developers of Unreal Tournament 2003 didn't want to require the damned CD. I know that the developers of Half-Life 2 didn't want to require the damned CD, because the version you can buy directly from them DOESN'T.

You know that license key you include with every version of your software?

That's enough.

You know what making me have to use the CD does? It makes it so I don't play your game. And because I don't play your game, I don't care about your sequel.

You know what else you do? You make the pirated version of the game more valuable. That's right, why should I play $50 for a crippled game that requires a specific CD to be in my drive in order to start playing it, when I could instead spend a few hours downloading the game and be able to play it without being bothered.

"But wait!," I hear you cry. "What about consoles? Do you refuse to use them because THEY require the disk in the drive?"

Well, no. Then again, I've never had a brand new console game I bought refuse to run because it decided it was pirated like I have on the PC. I've never had a console game only run 50% of the time, because the anti-piracy software didn't properly detect the CD. I've never had to wait five minutes (not kidding!) to start playing a game because the CD check software took that long to start the game.

Plus, a console is designed to be used with a lot of disc changing. The "eject" button is right next to the "power" button on most of them. It's easy to swap disks, you keep the game cases around, and you're all set. The games come in nice cases with easy-to-access disks. The console is RIGHT there, not pushed off under the desk or in some corner like most PCs are.

PC games tend to come without jewel cases (BTW, Microsoft, those annoying multi-CD boxes you're using don't count, the DVD cases that Sony and Nintendo and, hell, Microsoft, use work far better), so you have to devote time and money to organizing the CDs.

But you know what the ultimate reality is?

Games on the PC are the ONLY program that require a specific CD.

Word processors? Nope. Internet browser? Nope. Paint programs? Nope. Media players? Nope. The only non-game programs I can think of that require something be attached are enterprise software, and even that's kind of ridiculous.

I'm used to just double-clicking on the program icon and having the program instantly load. Because, after all, the entire game is installed on my hard drive. Nothing is actually loaded off the CD. The only thing being done is to ensure that I still have a disc of shiny plastic, and that this somehow means I'm allowed to play.

I'm not your enemy. I'm your damned customer. Stop making the gaming experience better for those that don't pay for your game, compared with those that do. I paid for the game, I shouldn't have to run out and get the pirated version just to be able to play the game without a hastle.

Thank you, and please stop making my game experience worse because you think I'll steal your game.

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